Do you remember a crossroads that changed the trajectory of your life? Or that could have for the worse? I remember walking out of earshot of the good and right lessons I learned as a child. I wondered, what might be a little further out?
It is a curious thing to me at times – why did I make the choices I did? How did I end up where I’m at rather than somewhere else?
There are several explanations, each important. I made some good decisions. I listened to God. I had wise counsel and accountability. However, I can’t examine the good in my life without giving credit to my mother’s prayers.
Sometimes I’m amazed at the razors edge that stood between me and disaster, between me and a decision I could never take back. What kept me from stepping over the precipice? I believe the answer is found in a woman praying by her bedside in the early morning hours.
Has your mother prayed for you?
Imagine her taking the ear of God on your behalf. God listens to everyone who calls. But I like to think His ear is especially attuned to the persistent intercession of mothers. They influence Him. I wonder what Jesus thought of his mother’s prayers. I am confident he knew the depth of her heart and the longings she had for him. Remember the moments after Jesus’ birth? Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I’ve seen my mother doing the same. And only after I became a mother did I begin to understand what was likely on Mary’s heart. A mother’s heart is a secret place of rumination. I believe this secret place is the precursor to mother’s prayer life.
My mother’s prayers protected me many times, though I will likely never know the extent of their influence in my life. Now as an adult, my mother’s example stokes my own prayers for my son. Pray big, pray passionately. Pray for months and years on end. Pray many times in a night. Pray out loud. And every day give your child over to God. (I’m not very good at this yet.)
Last year my mother gave me a special gift – her own copy of the Power of a Praying Parent. This book fomented her prayers and provided words when she could not form them herself. In the gift of the book she passed on a legacy of prayer that both blesses and challenges me. On a few pages I find underlines and wonder if they were meant for me or my brother, if there was a particular day when she lingered on the words. I wonder how many times she held the book in intercession or tears.
A few months ago, my family was faced with a potentially grave diagnosis. I allowed myself to be overcome by worry and emotion. While anxiety overtook me, I saw my mom draw closer to God in quiet trust. I was struck by our disparate responses. Maybe my prayer life wasn’t what I assumed. One blessing of a prayerful life is the ability to drink deeply from your history with God – to be nourished and sustained by the knowledge of his past faithfulness. I have a measure of this already, but my mother’s history far exceeds mine.
I have only begun my prayer journey as a mother. Certainly long nights await somewhere in the days ahead. When my voice seems to fall at my feet, and I seem unable to reach my son, I’ll remember the impact of my mother’s prayers, and that my influence is greatest at bended knees.
How have the prayers of your mother or someone else influenced your life?
How do you pray for your children?